Contributed by Rachel Sanchez, CEO of Prestige Maintenance USA.

As the back-to-school season approaches, it's crucial to ensure that schools provide a sanitary and healthy environment for students and teachers. A clean school not only contributes to the overall well-being of everyone involved, but also plays a vital role in preventing the spread of illnesses. 

Let's explore why cleanliness is essential in schools and discover the practices that help maintain a healthy learning environment.

The Significance of Cleanliness in Schools

Cleanliness is far more than just aesthetics — it directly impacts the health and academic performance of students. A clean school creates an environment that minimizes the risk of infections, allergies and other health-related issues. When students are healthy, they can focus better on their studies, leading to improved academic performance. Additionally, teachers can carry out their responsibilities effectively in a clean and organized setting.

Essential Cleaning Practices

• Thorough Daily Cleaning
Daily cleaning routines are the backbone of maintaining a clean school. It involves regular sanitization of frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, desks and handrails. By establishing consistent cleaning protocols, schools can minimize the accumulation of germs and reduce the risk of illnesses spreading among students and staff.

• Proper Disinfection Protocols
Cleaning and disinfecting are not synonymous. While cleaning removes visible dirt and grime, disinfecting kills germs and pathogens. Both processes are essential in schools. 

It is crucial to educate cleaning staff about the proper usage of disinfectants and recommended techniques. High-touch areas like restrooms, cafeterias, and classrooms require special attention to ensure thorough disinfection.

• Indoor Air Quality Maintenance
Maintaining good indoor air quality is vital for the health and well-being of everyone in the school community. Regular HVAC system maintenance, proper air filtration, and adequate ventilation help minimize the presence of airborne contaminants. By promoting clean air, schools can reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses and create a healthier environment conducive to learning.

• Special Attention to Restrooms
Restrooms play a critical role in maintaining hygiene and preventing the spread of germs. Regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms are essential to ensure they remain clean, fresh and odor-free. Restocking supplies such as soap, paper towels and toilet paper is equally important. By prioritizing restroom cleanliness, schools demonstrate their commitment to student health and well-being.

Collaborative Efforts and Education

Maintaining cleanliness in schools requires a collaborative effort from all stakeholders. Administrators, teachers, students, and staff must work together to create and sustain a clean environment. 

Additionally, educational programs on hygiene practices should be implemented, focusing on proper handwashing techniques and promoting awareness of illness prevention. By fostering a culture of cleanliness, schools can instill lifelong habits of hygiene and contribute to the overall health of their community.

Clean and Healthy Benefits

A clean and healthy school environment offers numerous benefits. First and foremost, it reduces absenteeism caused by preventable illnesses. By minimizing the spread of infections, schools create an atmosphere where students and teachers can thrive. Improved student attendance leads to better academic performance, as students can consistently engage in learning activities. 

Moreover, a clean school fosters a positive and welcoming atmosphere that enhances student motivation and overall well-being.

Partnering for a Clean and Responsible Future

As the back-to-school season approaches, ensuring a clean and healthy school environment is paramount. By implementing essential cleaning practices like thorough daily cleaning, proper disinfection protocols, indoor air quality maintenance and special attention to restrooms, schools can create a safe and conducive learning environment for students and teachers alike. However, it's essential to partner with a cleaning service that shares the same commitment to excellence and social responsibility. 

Rachel Sanchez is the CEO of Prestige Maintenance USA. Rachel relies on her lifetime of industry experience to create and deliver solutions to Prestige Maintenance USA’s diverse customer portfolio and workforce. Prestige is one of the largest woman and family-owned custodial companies in the nation. Rachel is actively involved within the diverse supplier community and has been recognized for her leadership, aspiration to other women, and active role at the helm of Prestige Maintenance USA.